Trendspotting with STV

Review by Fiona Mills, Media Shop

The latest Trendspotting event, hosted by STV, centred around partnerships. STV have identified partnerships as a key way to differentiate themselves and have adopted a ‘player-first’ approach, which prioritises their on-demand platform. With so many big named competitors in the market like Netflix, Amazon, and Apple, and Disney Plus set to launch next year, the quality of their content is key.

Gill Petrie, Head of Marketing at STV, highlighted a particularly good example of a partnership that was centred around I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. It is essential that STV attracts younger viewers to its platforms and partnering with Capital radio was a great way to achieve that. They had ‘Jungle Expert’ Jake Quickenden chatting with radio host Garry Spence, encouraging people to watch on the STV Player, and in return, Capital had fresh content for their drive-time show. 

The key takeout from Gill was to make sure that you know the value of what you’re trading in a partnership and make sure that you find the right partner, so that the arrangement is mutually beneficial.

Remi Brunier, director of product at STV was next to speak. He highlighted the competition in the creation, aggregation and distribution of content. STV’s approach to being a key player in this space is to have first-mover advantage – be ready, be quick and lead the pack. That’s how he managed to sign deals with the likes of Amazon, which saw STV Player mentioned in Amazon Prime’s TV advert and gained them a prime position on the Firestick platform for free and is still paying dividends five years later. 

The key takeouts from Remi were to make sure partnerships are balanced so that it is win-win for both parties. Have an open and transparent relationship, setting out both parties’ goals at the beginning of the partnership and be ready to take advantage of opportunities by having an agile approach.

Last up was Alex Hryniewicz, Head of Owned Channels at Little Dot Studios. His team was set up in the wake of YouTube’s monetisation policy to solve the problem of revenue loss from content that was not monetised on social media. He gave us some killer stats, such as the fact tat we now watch over 1bn hours of YouTube content a day – more than Facebook and Netflix combined – and that time watching YouTube on a TV set has doubled over the last year. High quality, long-form broadcast content is now performing better than that of influencers.

As a YouTube expert, he offered some top tips for optimising content through the channel:

  1. Frequency - upload frequently to build the channel and keep the audience engaged
  2. Go long – the algorithm favours longer content
  3. SEO – optimise the thumbnails and the meta data
  4. Viewer retention – optimisation of the end-screen ensures that viewers stay within the YouTube ecosystem

Thanks to Aileen and the team at STV and the Marketing Society for another great afternoon, allowing us to escape from our desks for an hour and to think about things from a different perspective.